[ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: fall out boy. look for their new album in stores starting this may. i want to thank our guests james franco, nigella lawson, christoph waltz, and i want to apologize to matt damon, we ran out of time. "nightline" is next. thanks for watching. good night. tonight on "nightline," nightmare at sea. thousands stranded aboard a carnival cruise ship that lost power. stories of day four from a va gags gone very wrong. the money man. he's the president's choice to head up the u.s. treasury but
from new york city, this is "nightline" with cynthia mcfadden. >> good evening, and thanks for joining us. tonight, a four-day pleasure cruise turned hellish ordeal. 4,200 people are being towed back to shore tonight trapped aboard the carnival cruise ship that lost power in the gulf of mexico sunday. the passengers onboard describe nightmarish scenes of squalor.
>> reporter: tonight, stranded at sea. as seen today from above, the carnival triumph being towed to port in mobile, alabama. it is day four of what has turned into the holiday from hell for the more than 4,000 people onboard. bethany is aboard, they spoke briefly before the phone cut out. >> all you hear on those phone calls is crying and talking about i'm gonna die, i'm gonna die. >> reporter: rob and stephanie had hoped for a beautiful wedding at sea. married on the ship just a few days ago. they are now spending their honeymoon in squalor. the sparkling city on the sea topped with pools, food, and boow? seen in better times in these carnival ads was far from the dream vacation when the ship went dark sunday as it sailed from mexico back to galveston, texas. it started wha eed when a fire
in one of the engine rooms. it burned out the four engines. >> there's no lights, no water. we can't flush. >> reporter: and barlow seen here hamming it up before boarding the triumph in galveston texted a chronicle of misery. there is sewer running down the walls and floors. we are camping on deck. passenger shelly crosby texted us we just stood in line for four hours to get a hamburger. with scant news and few images from the ship or passengers, we flew 100 miles from shore earlier today toxd find the triumph. carnival dispatched a third tug boat out today to help assist in towing the ship to port. have you ever seen anything like that? >> we're used the seeing boats out here and riggs, but as far as cruise ships in distress, no. >> reporter: we saw no visible damage, but we did see curious passengers on deck looking up at us. deck chairs seem to have been converted into beds. but sleeping outside will be increasingly miserable during the voyage's final hours in the
cold rain. with the ship rung on emergency generators, its communications are also crippled, leaving family members tonight frantic. >> she was scared. she was crying, mom, i'm so scared. >> reporter: mary drove through the night from lufkin, texas, to be here, hoping to be the first to see their 11 and 12-year-old daughters. >> my baby is on there and i don't know that she's okay. >> reporter: for three days not a single carnival cruise line representative appeared publicly until president jerry cahill spoke tuesday. >> we obviously are very, very sorry about what has taken place. there is no question that conditions onboard the ship are very challenging. everyone shore side is doing everything they can to make our guests as comfortable as possible. >> reporter: and then later that very same night, carnival owner did appear publicly at a miami heat game, a team he owns, but that picture ignited anger
online. >> these people got on their ship expecting a fun vacation. safe to say this has not happened. the conditions, from what we know, onboard the ship are quite bad. >> reporter: this is the third time in a month this very ship has had engine trouble. the triumph had to limp back to port on its two previous voiages. and in 2010, another carnival ship lost propulsion a few days from land and required spectacular rescue. navy choppers flown in dropped 70,000 pounds of supplies, including lots of spam. they were aboard that voyage in 2010 and recall that nightmare. >> we started to smell some smoke coming into our cabin. >> it was a -- the announcement over the loud speaker woke everybody up and we knew then that there was something serious. >> reporter: things can go spectacularly wrong on cruise ships. just over a year ago, the costa
concordia collided with rocks just off the coast of tuscany. 32 people died. but travel experts say those are the exceptions and that no one on the carnival triumph is in any imminent danger. >> the people onboard that ship are horribly uncomfortable. but, from everything we know, they are not in any danger. so at the very minimum, carnival seems to be keeping them safe. >> reporter: tonight as the ship is towed to shore, the port of mobile is dealing with the delicate task of docking the boat. and perhaps the most delicate maneuver for carnival cruise lines, dealing with the disembarking passengers for the holiday that wasn't. >> well, today carnival cruise lines announced that in addition to issuing a full refund for the cruise, it will give each passenger at least 500 additional dollars in compensation. next, the angry investor still battling the wall street
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ever since barack obama called them fat cat bankers, the president's relationship with wall street has been less than cozy. but today saw a strange twist. the president's choice for treasury secretary had to defend his time as a wall street insider. while republicans railed against bailout bonuses within banks once considered too big to fail.
the same banks whose investors lost millions in the financial meltdown. my co-anchor bill weir has the story. >> reporter: a ghost of the financial crisis came to haunt congress today in a most unlikely forum. >> there are risks that we need to be very much on guard against. >> reporter: his name is jack lew, a guy with one of the most sterling reputations in washington. >> mr. president, it's an honor to be here. >> reporter: as a loyal and low-key numbers crunching wonk, he has worked his way up to white house chief of staff and is the president's choice for treasury secretary. >> wall street dives more than 360 points. >> reporter: but a few years ago, as the american economy was melting down, jack lew was an executive at citigroup which sheila bair describes as the most toxic of all those troubled banks. >> they were the poster child in need of government aid. >> reporter: citigroup needed three government bailouts.
over $460 billion in taxpayer dollars and loan guarantees just to survive. but at the same time, they still managed the pay lew a bonus of nearly $1 million. >> explain why it might be morally acceptable to take close the a million dollars out of a company that was functionally insolvent. >> senator, in 2008, i was an employee in the private sector. i was compensated in a manner consistent with other people who did the kind of work that i did in the industry. >> reporter: lew's tenure included a post as the chief operating officer of alternative investments. and when he arrived in 2008, when he arrived the division was in deep trouble. bleeding money. both investors and citibank's own financial advisers were in open revolt which you can see in internal e-mails obtained by abc news. i'm watching a slow-motion movie of my life being destroyed, reads one with a subject line "i'm frightened." it was written by skip sussman, one of citi's own financial advisers. addressed to then ceo panit and it drips with desperation.
i have not slept in a month, he wrote. my wife looks at me, begins to cry and asks what are we going to do? i'm crying now just writing this. >> it was like a slow water torture of pain on a daily basis as clients would call in asking me, how could i have done this to them? >> reporter: the source of his pain, investment funds called mat and falcon created by citigroup and sold by hundreds of advisers like skip to thousands of clients like chris. >> as the mat provides investors with a stable above market return -- >> reporter: a jersey guy looking to park some of his self-made wealth somewhere safe. his adviser steered him to citi and chris bought a million dollars worth of mat 5, one of the funds built around low-risk municipal bonds. >> pretty much as low on the risk scale as you can get. >> reporter: that's what you were looking for. >> yes. >> reporter: what was it really? >> within a year period, it went to zero. >> reporter: you lost everything? >> i lost everything. >> reporter: chris, his adviser and many others say they didn't know that these investments were really kind of a hedge fund, the
sort of risky investment that can go bad fast. >> i wouldn't have invested, it wasn't for me. >> reporter: as it all came crashing down in 2008, e-mails like this showed the level of anger and panic within citigroup's ranks. my integrity has always meant more to me than anything else, wrote a financial adviser in despair. i trusted you, i trusted the fund manager, i trusted citi. on one of the angry conference calls, an adviser named jennifer krauss summed it up. >> the clients got duped. >> reporter: jack lew was not at citi's alternative investment wing when mat and falcon were created and solds and he insists his duties there were only administrative. >> i was aware of things that i was working in a financial institution. i learned a great deal about the financial products. but i wasn't designing them and i wasn't opining on them. >> reporter: but he was there for the implosion and the aftermath, a time when advisers were begging citibank to do the right thing and make customers whole. but instead of offering full
refunds, citi offered around 20 cents on the dollar in exchange for silence. >> they offered me $50,000 for me to waive my rights essentially. >> reporter: most people took that deal but chris was too angry. >> the people that are managing these funds are so separated from the skin in the game that they become so arrogant and disconnected from the actual emotion of wow, we just lost two billion dollars worth of customer money, it meant nothing to them. >> reporter: he bit the bullet, hired expensive lawyers and went into arbitration, a long shot. what did you think your chances were? >> i thought they were zero. >> reporter: but then he saw the e-mails from inside citi. >> all the facts of the case were overwhelming. i didn't know if i was going to get all my money back, but i was convinced that the panel would rule in my favor. >> reporter: and they did. >> they did. they gave me 100% of my money back. >> reporter: he's not alone. so far citigroup has been forced to pay back at least $85
million, as 14 arbitration panels around the country ruled against them. they've also settled with dozens more. but the bank insists they adequately disclosed the risks to advisers and investors and admit no wrongdoing. we believe citi acted appropriately at all times, a spokesperson said in an e-mail, we disagree with those arbitration panels that have ruled against citi. >> we are in the midst of a horrendous recession right now. >> reporter: two years ago during his confirmation to head the office of management and budget, lew was asked if he thought looser regulations on wall street led to the financial collapse. >> i don't consider myself an expert in some of these aspects of the financial industry. my experience in the financial industry has been as a manager, not as an investment adviser. >> reporter: but now as treasury secretary, lew will be tasked with making sure too big to fail never happens again. >> it does reinforce a cynicism that wall street runs this town. but again, it's the president's pick. i assume he weighed all those factors into the analysis of deciding to nominate mr. lew.
for this very important job. >> reporter: the white house declined our request for an interview with lew, and by all indications the president will get his wish and he will sail through confirmation. >> i've practiced law, i've worked at a university, i've worked at a financial institution. i think if i hadn't had a set of experiences like that, i wouldn't be sitting here today speaking with confidence that i could undertake the responsibilities of secretary of the treasury. >> it should be noted that not only did the treasury department fully recover the $45 billion it invested in citi, it made an additional return of more than $13 billion. next up, the role that almost wasn't. how sally field fought for the role of mary todd lincoln and earned a shot at oscar number three. and earned a shot at oscar number three. when she's sad, she writes about goblins. [ balloon pops, goblin growling ]
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if you're looking for proof that sally field was dedicated to winning the role she played in steven spielberg's movie "lincoln," consider this. she agreed to gain 25 pounds to play the part. yet it was her secret challenges she says off screen that propelled her performance forward. here's abc's chris connelly for our series "oscar confidential." >> sally field has been a beloved part of american pop culture for nearly a half century. >> wow, i learned my lesson. >> from her '60s sitcom, "smoky and the bandit" in the '70s. >> why so fast, you late for a big bowling date? >> reporter: and forrest gump in the '70s. today at 66, she has as best actress academy awards as meryl streep does. still, she was undaunted and
unabashed to play mary todd lincoln in steven spielberg's "lincoln." >> i'm proud of the film. i'm proud of my work in the film. i'm proud i fought to get in it. >> reporter: proud too to have done it all while deep in the throes of a personal heartbreak she has never before discussed. >> once, mrs. lincoln, i demand of you to try. >> reporter: yet this acclaimed performance, for which she gained 25 pounds, nearly didn't happen despite spielberg's initial enthusiasm for her playing the part. because even though steven had said you're my mary todd lincoln, what had happened? >> i just knew that it would be a battle. because i'm ten years older than daniel and mary was ten years younger than lincoln. i'm 20 years older than what mary was. it's just not going to work. >> reporter: but spielberg decided to give her one final
chance. the customarily reclusive day-lewis had offered to fly from ireland to los angeles for the day to act with her. >> when he walked across the room, i was signature at mary and i did not rise until he was literally next to me and gave him my hand, and he kissed it, and i said mr. lincoln. and he said mother. and i whispered thank you. and he kissed the top of my head and said "my honor." and it will be one of the things i remember forever and ever and ever. >> reporter: as she drove home, day-lewis and spielberg called to say she had won the role. >> and action. >> no one's ever been loved so much by the people. >> reporter: that performance earned field a supporting actress oscar nomination. it already stands as a pinnacle of an acting career transformed by a key moment of self-assertion way back in 1972. what happened when you told your
agent i don't want to do tv anymore, i want to do movies? >> they said well, it's foolish. you'll never work. you're not pretty enough. you're not good enough. i said you're fired. and my business manager said the same thing. and i said you're fired. i just fired everybody. and i left my husband. it was like out! all of you! >> i started this and i'm gonna finish it. >> reporter: the results would speak for themselves. she would win a best actress oscar in 1980 for "norma rae." another in 1985 for "places in the heart." her oscar line would earn her oscar dur. >> i can't deny the fact that you like me, right now! you like me! >> reporter: for field, there is much to be proud of. three sons, four grandkids. for this l.a. native, a new home in new york city. and "lincoln," her performance achieved under more challenging circumstances than she has
previously shared. >> well, my mother passed away while i was doing "lincoln," which was a huge part of the whole experience. i have never really talked about it. she had been very ill. so it was ongoing. of course, the grieving and the things that i felt were tremendous, were tremendous. >> reporter: margaret field was herself an actress, in television and in films. >> it was like her gift. you know, it was a gift. it just was very, very hard, but it was the way it's supposed to be. i felt finally, you know, that she had gone like this and the moth that i had been right there on her hand just -- i left and went to do the things i was now to do. >> reporter: i'm chris connelly for "nightl